An Unexpected Honor

When I opened my front door today, I discovered a fantastic surprise waiting for me.  No, it wasn’t Jensen Ackles in a tux extending an oversized box of Godiva chocolates.  As unbelievable as this might sound . . . it was actually more awesome than that.

Around these parts, if something is too big to fit in the mailbox, the mail carrier just leaves it at the front door.  The only issue is that I hardly ever use the front door.  Today I happened to be expecting a package, so I took a quick peek out front.  Tucked between the glass door and the wooden door was a brown box, but not the package I was expecting – instead it was from Highlights.  I don’t know how long it’d been there, but from the date on the letter inside, it’s been several weeks.  Oops!  Anyway, I’d already received my contributor’s copies from them, so I couldn’t imagine what it might be. 

I ripped into the package with the excited abandon of a kid on Christmas morning.  Inside I found a pretty pewter plate (I love alliteration!) engraved with my name, the title of my story, and Highlights Author of the Month Award“Highlights for Children Author of the Month.”  Cue the dropping of my jaw and eyes bugging out of my head.  There was also a lovely note from Highlights editor in chief Christine Cully telling me the staff had voted me Author of the Month for my story “Seeking a Hidden Hive.”  Wow, I’m so honored!  My heartfelt appreciation and thanks to the Highlights staff!

This short story has led to many amazing honors and opportunities in my writing life.  I’m just so grateful for whatever odd conversational turn of events led to my brother and me discussing honeyguides in late 2008.

 So what's the most exciting thing you've ever found at your front door?



Kathleen Fox's picture

Don't be using that plate for cookies or burgers! Congratulations on being the author of the month- that's so cool. I grew up with Highlights and I still love reading it. Like the illustrations that go along with your "Seeking a Honey Hive" story too.

Jocelyn Rish's picture

No food is coming near this plate, I promise!  Thanks, Kathleen.  And I agree, the illustrator did an excellent job.  Oddly enough, she actually lives in James Island.  What are the odds?!?

xiaojun's picture

20170524 junda

xiaojun11's picture

20170731 junda

Valued Visitor's picture

And then the curtains were dropped, the watcher retired a little out of sight, and everything was subdued into absolute stillness. Mrs. Damerel sat down noiselessly in the background, and covered her face with her hands, and wept silent tears, few and bitter. She had felt him to be hard upon her many a day; she had seen what was wanting in him; but he was her husband, the first love of her youth, and her heart was rent asunder by this separation. She had enough to think of besides, had she been able; she had poverty to face, and to bring up her children as best she could in a world which henceforward would not be kind and soft to them as it had been hitherto. Her soul was heavy with a consciousness of all that was before her; but, in the mean time, she had room for no distinct feeling except oneā€”that her husband, her love, was going to be taken from her. This tremendous parting, rending asunder of two lives that had been one, was more than enough to fill all her mind; she had room for nothing more.

And he slept, or thought he slept, floating out of the vague pain and wonder of his waking thoughts into strange, vague visions, dimmer still, and then back again to the fancies which were waking and not sleeping. There was a dim impression of painfulness in them, rather than pain itself; wonder, curiosity, and that strange sense of an absolute blank which makes the soul giddy and the brain swim. Sometimes his mind seemed to himself to wander, and he got astray somehow, and felt himself sinking in an unfathomable sea, or striving to make his way through some blackness of night, some thorny wood in which there was no path. I suppose he was asleep then; but even he himself scarcely knew.

When he woke it was evening, and the lamp, carefully shaded, had been lit at the other end of the room. He liked the light; and, when he stirred and spoke, the watchers made haste to draw back the curtains. The serene evening sky, full of soft tints of reflection from the sunset, with breaks of daffodil light melting into ineffable soft greenness and blueness, shone in through the uncurtained window which he liked to have left so, that he might see the sky. Rose and her mother were close by the bright circle made by the lamp, one of them preparing some drink for him, the other opening a new bottle of medicine which had just been sent. Though it was all so familiar to him, the fact that he was to go away so soon seemed to throw a strangeness over everything, and gave a bewildering novelty even to the figures he knew so well.

ppst 2017.8.21

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